M. Rivlin 's Efforts Establishing The Congressional Budget Office

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This paper will discuss Alice M. Rivlin’s efforts establishing the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It will detail the major players, including Rivlin and explain what CBO’s sources of power. This paper will also discuss what stance Rivlin should take regarding political patronage and how she should manage the situation. Finally, this paper will address which organizational structure she should adopt for CBO using the framework of five determinants of organizational structure. The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 established the Congressional Budget Office and on April 24, 1974 sworn in its first director, Alice M. Rivlin. CBO was established to make Congress a major player in the budget process. Originally Congress was pressed to…show more content…
Some major power players in Rivlin’s appointment and confirmation on the House-side were Chairman Al Ullman and then Rep. Brock Adams. On the Senate-side, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, who recommended Rivlin, Edmund Muskie was a major influence in her appointment. One of the first things Rivlin did was bringing on Robert Reischauer, a fellow economist from the Brookings Institute, as her right-hand man at CBO. She also reviewed the Budget Act, which specified what CBO was charged, which was relatively short. Therefore CBO had considerable freedom under the legislation since both the Senate and House had no clue what they wanted from their new budget shop. This provided Rivlin an enormous opportunity to look at other models of how to structure CBO. She could model CBO after other sister agencies like the General Accounting Office (GAO), Congressional Research Service (CRS), the former Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), or the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation Staff. Some suggestions were to organize CBO along functional lines with policy areas like defense or human resources in separate divisions—each containing a numbers and analysis subdivision. Another suggestion was to spread the numbers function all around to enable program divisions with a focus on customer relations. But Rivlin also had to be aware of political patronage. Both Congressmen and
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